Cab driver fined for refusing black family, picking up white women instead

Friday, August 7, 2015
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Carolina Leid has the story from Herald Square.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A woman says she and her daughters were refused a cab ride all because they are black.

A New York City taxi driver has been fined $25,000 for failing to pick them up and instead giving two white passengers a ride.

It's a judgment the family hopes will send a message to all taxi drivers who discriminate.

Cynthia Jordan says her lawsuit wasn't about money; she just wants cabbies to think twice before refusing a fare based on race.

"Unless you were in my shoes, you don't know how it felt and it didn't feel great at all," Jordan said.

Jordan says this was not just a victory for her family; she did it for every African American who can't get a cab to pull over in New York City because of the color of their skin.

The Queens woman was hailing a cab two years ago outside the Macy's in Herald Square with her daughters.

After much effort, one stopped to drop people off, so they tried to get in.

"My daughter went to the cab and he said, 'I'm going on break.' I said, 'But your light is on, but OK we're going to report you.' We walked away, she took his number to report him," Jordan said.

Just as the accounting executive at a stock transfer company was looking for another cab, her daughter pointed out the driver picked up two white women up the block.

"I ran up to the car and was like, 'Are you kidding me picking up these two?' And I did say some bad words, these people and you wouldn't take my family. I said, 'I'm going to report you,' and he said, 'Go ahead, report me,'" Jordan said.

Baqir Raza has a different story.

He told Eyewitness News over the phone that two women jumped into his yellow cab before Jordan and her daughters and that she went off the deep end.

A judge ordered the Staten Island man to pay $25,000 to Jordan in a racial discrimination case.

The TLC also fined him $200 after he pleaded guilty.

"It's the point. Someone else will pursue this," Jordan said.

Mr. Raza says he gave up driving a yellow cab six months ago.

He says he now plans to counter sue Ms. Jordan.